Returning to the master’s feet

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Demetrius begged his owner “I just want to be your bond servant. I give back my freedom, my freewill to you; please allow me to serve you all the days of my life!”

Demetrius begged his owner “I just want to be your bond servant. I give back my freedom, my freewill to you; please allow me to serve you all the days of my life!”

Titus was extremely fond of Demetrius and over the years he had become like part of his family. As the jubilee was fast approaching he had looked forward to giving Demetrius back his freedom. Demetrius was born in Corinth and was captured in a border war seven years earlier in the northern territories. He was one of the lucky ones who had been well treated by his master and wanted to remain as a house servant.

“Please allow me to stay with your family – put a ring through my ear and I will serve you all the days the Lord has granted me,” said Demetrius as he set down the tray holding this morning’s sweet honeysuckle, tea and flatbread.

Titus smiled as the request of his servant resonated through the quiet morning air. He smiled and instructed Demetrius to find a hammer and awl while he retrieved a gold ring from the house’s strong box. Titus gently placed Demetrius’ ear onto the doorpost of his home as the awl was driven through his earlobe with one smooth swing of the hammer.

Titus inserted the gold ring through the hole he had just made and closed the ring with another quick swing. Martha, one of the other housemaids, quickly and tenderly anointed the wound with virgin olive oil as Titus ordered the entire house to prepare for a celebration!

This short word picture of a grateful slave and a kind master is not so different from the relationship that all Christians should have with Jesus Christ. We were all once lost in the world’s battles, captured by the enemy and bound, fettered to the sins of our old life.

Jesus, our Lord and Master, has graciously invited us to receive freedom from the bondage of our old life that so easily ensnares us. As we accept His gift of forgiveness we are taken out of the world through our new birth and then allowed to make a conscious choice to be obedient to our Master or continue living in bondage.

Just as the nation of Israel stood on the east side of the Jordan River looking out over at the Promised Land, we too must decide what we will do with our new-found freedom.

Because we have freewill, we must either continue to live selfish lives that only serve our flesh or surrender our lives to our Lord to be set apart for only His glory. The choice is ours; to become bond servants or to continue to serve other idols and gods.

Today can be our day of jubilee where we make that choice to follow Him! Our first step is to begin by surrendering our secret places, thoughts and habits to the Holy Spirit. Through His power we can become free from the chains that bind us to our flesh. In this way we are not only entering the Promised Land but also occupying every promise that has been prepared for us.

In our story, Demetrius was so grateful for his master’s love and kindness that he made the choice to give back his freedom and serve his Master for life. In the same way, it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and a life that is truly holy, set apart and pure.

Repentance is a fruit, a gift of the Spirit which only grows as we continue to stay connected to the True Vine. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Don’t be discouraged when pruning season arrives as it is a necessity in order for us to bear much fruit. If we could repent in our power and strength by living perfect lives, then we wouldn’t have any need of a Savior?

God loves us and that is why He sent his own son into the world to purchase us out of slavery to sin.

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